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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo orders emergency measures to protect nail salon workers

After a New York Times investigation last week revealed illegally low pay and other exploitation of nail salon employees, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday ordered emergency measures to protect the workers.

Cuomo's emergency order is aimed at protecting New York state nail salon workers from wage theft as well as from the health risks imposed by the salon chemicals. Salons that refuse to pay workers back wages will be closed, and a multi-agency task force will investigate salons for compliance with the order. The new rules will also require workers to wear gloves and masks to protect them from hazardous chemicals.

"New York State has a long history of confronting wage theft and unfair labor practices head on, and today, with the formation of this new Enforcement Task Force, we are aggressively following in that tradition," Cuomo said in a statement. "We will not stand idly by as workers are deprived of their hard-earned wages and robbed of their most basic rights."

The emergency measures will become permanent for New York state, and salons will be required to post signs about workers' rights in six languages.